The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Campahatta

BY: SUN STAFF - 24.8 2019

Jayadev Worships the Lord 
Gita Govinda, c. 1200 A.D.

 A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 43.

In the Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur provides a wonderful narrative about the pastimes of the poet Jayadeva, and the period of his residency at Campahatta. The following text is from chapter eleven, entitled 'Sri Koladvipa, Sri Samudragada, Sri Campahatta, and Descriptions Regarding Jayadeva':

"When Lakshmana Sena was the king of Nadia, Jayadeva was one of his subjects in Navadvipa. He built a hut on the bank of Ballal-dirgika and peacefully lived there with his wife, Padma. He wrote the Dasa-avatara poem there, which came into the King's hand. The king read the poem with great relish and inquired who had written it. Govardhana Acarya told the king the great poet Jayadeva had written it. The king asked where he lived, and Govardhana told him Jayadeva stays in Navadvipa.

Hearing this, the king secretly searched and arrived in the night at Jayadeva's house. The king entered the cottage dressed as a Vaishnava and, after offering respects to the poet, seated himself. Jayadeva, however, knew he was the king dressed as a penniless Vaishnava. The king soon introduced himself and begged the poet to come to his palace. Jayadeva, being very detached from materialism, could not agree to go to the house of a materialist.

He answered the king, 'I will give up your kingdom and go elsewhere. Association with materialists is not auspicious. I will cross the Ganges and go to Nilacala, Jagannatha Puri.' The king said, 'Listen to me, Prabhu, you should never leave Navadvipa. Your words should remain true, but my wish should also be fulfilled. O Prabhu, kindly do what you must in such a way that I may also be favored. Across the Ganges is the enchanting Campahatta. Stay there for a few years. I will not go there as I please, but I may see your lotus feet only when you desire.'

Hearing the king's words, the great poet agreed and immediately replied, 'Though you are endowed with so much wealth and such a kingdom, you are a devotee of Krishna and not bound to the material world. I called you a materialist to test you, but you have tolerated it. Thus I know that you are a devotee of Krishna. Though accepting material things, you remain unattached. I will remain some time in Campahatta and you can come secretly, giving up your opulent position.'

The king very happily had his ministers build Jayadeva a cottage in Campahatta. Jayadeva stayed there for some time and worshiped Krishna according to the process of raga-marga. Padmavati would bring heaps of campaka flowers, which Jayadeva would offer to Krishna.

In great love the poet worshiped Krishna, who then appeared before Jayadeva with a complexion the color of the campaka flower, resplendent with the radiance of molten gold. The shining beauty of a million moons would have been put to shame by His beautiful face. He had curly hair and a garland of flowers around His neck. His arms were long, and His effulgence illumined the room. Seeing that form of Gauranga, Jayadeva fainted with tears streaming from his eyes, while Padmavati also fell to the earth unconscious.

The Lord lifted the couple up with His two lotus hands and spoke nectarean words, 'Both of you are My exalted devotees, therefore I desired to give you My darsana. Very soon I will take birth in Nadia in the womb of Saci. With all the devotees of all the avataras, I will distribute the gift of prema and krishna-kirtana. After twenty-four years, I will take sannyasa and live in Nilacala. There, in the association of the devotees and overcome with prema, I will continuously taste the poems of your Gita-govinda, for it is very dear to Me. You will return to this Navadvipa-dhama after death. This I say for certain. Now, both of you go to Nilacala, where you will attain love of God by worshiping Lord Jagannatha.'"

(Navadvipa-dhama-mahatmya, Parikrama-khanda, Chapter Eleven)